Biden Equality Accountability Tracker

Biden Equality Accountability Tracker
in Days

GLAAD is monitoring the Biden administration's executive orders, legislative support, speeches and nominations that affect LGBTQ people and rights.

The First 100 Days

04.08.2021 Pres. Biden acknowledges survivors and the loss of LGBTQ lives at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando nearly five years ago, in announcing policies to address gun violence.

03.31.2021 The Dept. of Defense issues policy updates allowing transgender Americans to once again serve openly in the military: “The revised policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or an individual’s identification as transgender, provide a means by which to access into the military in one’s self-identified gender provided all appropriate standards are met, provide a path for those in service for medical treatment, gender transition, and recognition in one’s self-identified gender, and seeks to protect the privacy of all Service members and to treat all Service members with dignity and respect.” The new policy will be effective April 30, 2021.

03.31.2021 President Biden issues statement proclaiming March 31, 2021, Transgender Day of Visibility, which “recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world.” Pres. Biden is the first president to issue such a proclamation. Transgender Day of Visibility was first recognized in 2009.

03.26.2021 Department of Justice Civil Rights Division issues memo that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bostock decision expanding protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace can be extended to Title IX claims. “I hope this memorandum provides a starting point for your agencies to ensure the consistent and robust enforcement of Title IX, in furtherance of the commitment that every person should be treated with respect and dignity,” says the memo from Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan.

03.24.2021 Dr. Rachel Levine becomes first out transgender presidential nominee to be confirmed by the Senate. Dr. Levine is Assistant Secretary for Health in the Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the highest-ranking transgender federal official.

03.08.2021 On International Women's Day, signs executive order to guarantee all students "an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."

03.08.2021 Creates Gender Policy Council with the goal of advancing equality and equity for women and girls, and ensure the federal government works to advance equal rights and opportunity, regardless of gender or gender identity. The executive order includes LGBTQ people as among those who "suffer discrimination based on multiple factors, including membership in an underserved community."

03.02.2021 Gina Raimondo sworn in as Secretary of Commerce. Raimondo, as the first female governor of Rhode Island, signed a bill updating the state's parenting and adoption laws saying, "No parent should have to jump through hoops to receive legal recognition because of their sexual orientation or the circumstances of their child's birth." Gov. Raimondo also restored veterans benefits to military veterans discharged because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and signed a law banning so-called "conversion therapy."

03.01.2021 Miguel Cardona confirmed as Secretary of Education. Cardona, a former public school teacher, principal and administrator, upheld the rights of transgender students during his confirmation hearing: “I think it’s the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities and this includes students who are transgender... I believe schools should offer the opportunity for students to engage in extracurricular activities, even if they’re transgender. I think that’s their right.”

03.01.2021 Vice President Harris tweets: "Women make history every day. Some we know—the Suffragettes, the Riveters. The stories of others—especially women of color and LGBTQ women—have gone untold. This Women’s History Month, we honor these women and all women."

02.25.2021 Dr. Rachel Levine becomes the first presidential appointee to undergo a Senate confirmation hearing. Levine discussed her record in public health, pediatric care, and the battles against opioid addiction and Covid-19. Levine also endured invasive and transphobic questioning from Sen. Rand Paul during the hearing.

02.25.2021 Tweets: "Transgender rights are human rights — and the House made that clear today by passing the Equality Act. Now it's time for the Senate to do the same."

02.24.2021 Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces US intends to seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, promising to pursue a policy to advance gender equality, uplift the rights of women, and end violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

02.22.2021 Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed as US Ambassador to the UN. Amb. Thomas-Greenfield's record includes advancing LGBTQ rights in 2012 as Ambassador to Monrovia, where she deployed "gumbo diplomacy," inviting the minister of information and local LGBTQ youth to dinner in effort to lower the risk of LGBTQ harassment. 

02.19.2021 Issues statement on introduction of The Equality Act in Congress and to urge its passage: "Full equality has been denied to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families for far too long. Despite the extraordinary progress the LGBTQ+ community has made to secure their basic civil rights, discrimination is still rampant in many areas of our society. The Equality Act provides long overdue federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, locking in critical safeguards in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems - and codifying the courage and resilience of the LGBTQ+ movement into enduring law."

02.11.2021 Department of Housing and Urban Development implements LGBTQ protections in housing, becoming first federal agency to implement Pres. Biden's executive order to interpret Supreme Court Bostock ruling and include gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes under ban on sex discrimination.

02.10.2021 Appoints 12 professionals to the Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force, created to address Covid-19 inequities, according to “race, ethnicity, geography, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors.”

02.10.2021 Agrees to a temporary stay ordered in DC District Court, preventing last-minute Trump administration rollback of LGBTQ protections at agencies receiving HHS funding, including shelters, medical services and senior services. 

02.09.2021 Press Secretary Jen Psaki responds to a reporter's question about trans policy in the daily briefing, saying, "The president's belief is that trans rights are human rights."

02.05.2021 The CDC issues a report on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on LGBTQ Americans, including increased risk for severe symptoms and long-term complications. The report specifically points to the lack of LGBTQ inclusion in data collection and recommends that sexual orientation and gender identity be added to collection efforts.

02.04.2021 Issues executive memo on advancing LGBTQ human rights around the world. The memo directs all agencies "engaged abroad" to consider the implications of LGBTQ rights in funding and policy, increases protections for LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, proposes combating criminalization of LGBTQ people in foreign nations, and directs agencies to file reports on LGBTQ human rights directives within 180 days.

02.03.2021 Issues proclamation for National Teen Dating and Violence Awareness and Prevention Month to address higher rates of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) among young women, trans and gender nonconforming youth, saying dating violence “transcends gender...and sexual orientation.”

01.30.2021 Tweets: "Over the last 10 days, I’ve taken action on: - COVID-19 - The economy - Climate change - Racial equity - Immigration - Health care - LGBTQ+ rights. And I’m just getting started."

01.26.2021 Directs HUD to review and assess Trump-era regulatory changes, citing housing discrimination against LGBTQ, people of color, immigrants and people with disabilities. Directs HUD to assess Fair Housing Act practices.

01.25.2021 Revokes Trump’s 2018 ban on transgender military personnel and recruits. Tweets: Today, I repealed the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military. It’s simple: America is safer when everyone qualified to serve can do so openly and with pride.

01.21.2021 Signs executive order to increase COVID-19 equitable data collection, pointing to lack of tracking data in underserved communities that are disproportionately impacted, specifically citing lack of data collection for LGBTQ pepole. Establishes COVID-19 Equity Task Force to assess whether resources have been allocated equitably, and strengthen anti-discrimination efforts.

01.20.2021 Unveils changes to White House website contact form to include the addition of pronoun fields, now with they/them nonbinary pronouns and new additions to prefix field (Mx. added).

01.20.2021 Signs executive order directing the federal government to “pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all,” specifically citing LGBTQ people among the list of underserved communities. Directs the Domestic Policy Council to “coordinate efforts to embed equity principles, policies, and approaches across the Federal Government” in coordination with the NSC and the National Economic Council. Directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to assess equity and launch model and pilot programs as needed, and allocate budget resources. Directs all federal agencies to conduct 200-day assessments of systemic barriers to agency services for underserved populations and to engage with stakeholder and advocacy groups. Establishes Equitable Data Working Group.

01.20.2021 Signs executive order that directs all federal agencies to implement the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock decision and interpreting the federal ban on sex discrimination (via the Civil Rights Act 1964) to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. The order points to ending discrimination against transgender youth in school facilities including restrooms, locker rooms, and access to sports programs.


Key LGBTQ nominations, appointments and staff hires:

Secretary of Transportation: Pete Buttigieg

Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services: Dr. Rachel Levine

Secretary of State spokesperson: Ned Price

Deputy Press Secretary: Karinne Jean-Pierre

Deputy White House Comms Director: Pili Tobar

White House Social Secretary: Carlos Elizondo

Director of Political Strategy and Outreach: Emmy Ruiz

Deputy Director, Office of Presidential Personnel: Gautam Raghavan